Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Universal Studios & Universal Islands of Adventures {2016}

After our first day at the park (St. Patrick's Day), we were exhausted from staying at the park late to try to accomplish everything we wanted to do.  I knew that Islands of Adventure probably had more rides and things we would want to do so I foresaw it taking us most of the next two days to accomplish it all.  However, I did plan on leaving the parks earlier so we could get a little more rest and enjoy our resort more.  Much like Epcot at the Disney Parks, I think Islands of Adventure is the more scenic park at Universal.  The boys really loved this park primarily because of the Jurassic Park section and also the Dr. Seuss section.  Of course, I am still saving our favorite parts of both parks for another post.  Here's how we wrapped up two more days of theme park fun:

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The entrance to Islands of Adventure is a lot more visually pleasing, and I love the whimsical tower at the entrance.  It kind of makes me think of Rapunzel's tower.  

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After entering the parks, we were making a very quick walk through and around the park to the "special" area I will show later.  But I just loved everything about Seuss Landing.  How fun would it be to live in a world like this?  

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Later, we went back to Seuss Landing for further exploration.  We met some fun characters, including the Grinch and one of the Who's. 

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The boys went for a ride in a police car on Mulberry Street. Oh the things we saw on Mulberry Street!  
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Then, we took a ride on The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride.  I was disappointed Mattox couldn't ride this one.  I had assumed most of the Seuss rides would be younger child friendly.  He did get to ride a couple though. 

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All of the boys did get to enjoy the Seuss Carousel.  I hate that Daddy couldn't get a shot of Mattox's face on the ride, but he loved it.  Silly Horton's ear was blocking him.  Of course, I had tried to get Eddie to get on the ride to take pictures, but he had disappeared from my sight when we were getting in line.  Sigh. 

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We enjoyed eating lunch inside the Circus McGurkus tent. 

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Then, we all got to ride the One Fish Two Fish ride.  It is kind of like the Dumbo ride at Disney, and the fish spray you with water as you get to move your fish up and down.   You can just barely see Mattox's little head sticking up beside me. 

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Brody enjoyed visiting The Once-ler from The Lorax. 

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And we got to meet The Lorax and that silly Cat and his Things too.  

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I thought the Lost Continent part of the park was really neat to see.  We saw the Poseidon's Fury show which was inside what looked like the ruins of an ancient Greek temple to Poseidon.  

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The show took us on an exploration expedition where an archaeologist had recently disappeared from the site so we had to help solve the mystery.  Then, we got "trapped" inside by the evil spirit who wanted us to find Poseidon's trident for him so he would have his power.  Thankfully, we found the trident and returned it to Poseidon who helped us get free.   

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After an early dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., we made it back to the hotel in time for a little swim.  The boys got to enjoy the waterslide and loved it as usual.  I went down it the first time to make sure Brody was okay to do it, and then the boys couldn't stop for the rest of the night. 

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Here comes Brody!

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All smiles and so proud. 

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The next day, we started our park tour on the opposite side of Islands of Adventure and walked through the superhero and comic book side.  These boys loved this cool futuristic police car. 

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Although Evan didn't know all of these characters, he does love the Avengers.  The boys struck superhero poses for a picture. 

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In Toon Lagoon, I enjoyed seeing some of the characters from the old comic strips I used to love reading in the Sunday paper.  I kind of hate that I don't get the newspaper anymore so Evan can enjoy reading the comics. 

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Brody is drawn to a water fountain because he can't resist any water, and Evan can't resist a cannon or any kind of gun. 

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I was sad this ride hadn't opened yet.  It looked really cool. 

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The Jurassic Park River Adventure was probably Brody's favorite ride.  He loved when we almost got eaten by a big T-Rex at the end and barely escaped from his jaws to come out with a big splash. 

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Yikes, that big T-Rex almost got us!

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Then, we went for a high flying adventure soaring above the park on these Pteranodons.  The boys enjoyed playing in Camp Jurassic. 

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The boys enjoyed these water shooters made from the heads of those creepy little dinosaurs from the first Jurassic Park movie.  You know the ones who kill the guy trying to steal the dinosaur DNA. 

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They would have played all day in this play area and not cared about riding any more rides.  

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Coming out of the T-Rex skull's mouth. 

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This one was a bit of a challenge.  Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls is a little like Disney's Splash Mountain as it starts out slowly going through the stories of this funny cartoon character, but then you go down this big drop to get really wet.  It was already a cooler and wetter day with rain showers off and on so I knew I wouldn't dry out as quickly and would likely be pretty cold afterwards.  I made Evan change into his swimsuit, and I invested in an overpriced poncho.  Of course, it didn't help my head.  Then, to add insult to injury, you get sprayed in the face when you round a sharp turn after the big drop.  Sigh.  

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Oh my, these guys were really hungry!  They wanted to eat all of Wimpy's burgers. 

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So we decided to go eat a real dinner at Mythos Restaurant back in the Lost Continent area.  It was voted best theme park restaurant for many years and has a really cool look inside of the mountain carved with the faces of the gods.  This was our "fancy" dinner night although we didn't get to change our clothes like I had hoped.  I did enjoy a fancy drink though.  

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I let Daddy take one for the team and take Brody on the Twirl 'n' Hurl because Brody needed a special ride since there were a few rides he wasn't tall enough for.  He loved this one.  He also loved the Men in Black Alien Attack ride so we rode it twice for him.  The boys did their best MIB agent poses. 

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Sometimes, it pays to not have a plan.  We hadn't planned to end up back in the Universal Studios park that day, but we had went back over there for dinner and to ride a few more rides that Brody requested.  We ended up leaving the park at about the time the special Mardi Gras night parade started.  We couldn't really leave because the streets were blocked so we just enjoyed the show.  The boys enjoyed getting to experience their first Mardi Gras celebration.  Apparently, since the park spends so much money on these awesome floats, they celebrate Mardi Gras for over a month.  

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The floats and costumes were so neat. 

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And yes, we got lots of beads too!  Can you imagine how many beads are thrown out at these nightly parades?  


  1. What a great couple of days you had! I always love reading about your adventures because you introduce me to so many things I don't know about. Like who knew there was an entire Dr. Seuss land? I do want to live there! Wanna live there together? It would be so whimsical and fun all of the time.

    The Jurassic Park land and the Mardi Gras parade seem completely awesome as well. Good timing on your part for the parade. Probably much cleaner (and therefore much more enjoyable) than the real deal.

    1. Yes, we can be neighbors. So do you want the Onceler's house or the Cat in the Hat house? Haha! Yes, I am pretty sure there were way less drunks at this Mardi Gras celebration. Haha!

  2. That Dr Seuss land is awesome. I'm thinking if we ever make it to Disney in Florida we need to go for two weeks and not just one. You are introducing me to sooooo much amazing stuff. I will just be sure to avoid the scary rides and the ones which get me wet. Ha!


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